Isaiah Washington: it’s ‘disgusting’ Brooke Smith fired from Greys, hire me

Isaiah Washington’s contract on NBC drama “Grey’s Anatomy” was not renewed in June, 2007 after a controversy over a gay epithet he supposedly used on-set against co-star T.R. Knight in October of 2006. Washington later called his dismissal racist and said that he didn’t call Knight the F word, but that he told Patrick Dempsey, who he was involved in physical altercation with at the time, to stop treating him like a “bitch, p*ssy, and a f-t” Other versions of the story have Washington using the word directly referring to Knight, saying “I’m not your f, like [him]”

Washington hasn’t had a lot of work since Grey’s wrapped and was working on another new series, but it was canceled. He is widely thought to have financial problems and has said several times that he would like to return to the show. Instead of sucking it up and playing nice, he couldn’t help but condemn Greys producers for dismissing actress Brooke Smith. Smith was let go last week because she wasn’t working out, according to producers, but rumor had it that the network was not comfortable with the plot involving her gay character’s relationship.

Former Grey’s Anatomy star Isaiah Washington — who was axed from the show in 2007 after spewing a homophobic slur at T.R. Knight — is slamming the show for firing Brooke Smith.

”I looked at a brilliant actress, whom I have adored since I first saw her in Silence of the Lambs,” he says in the Nov. 17 issue of TV Guide. “For her to be treated this way, I find very interesting.”

Grey’s creator Shonda Rhimes released a statement last week insisting that “Brooke Smith was obviously not fired for playing a lesbian …. we did not find that the magic and chemistry with Brooke’s character would sustain in the long run.”

Regardless, Washington says the move was harsh.

“The fact is that, just before the holidays, you have a mother, a wonderful actress removed from a steady income without the proper reasoning behind it…” he says.

“You look at the way another consummate professional [is] being treated because her character, her story line [has] potentially made producers uncomfortable.


He says Rhimes is getting the raw deal.

”Now that I see what they’re doing to a show that I love and I care about, I think it’s disgusting,” Washington continues. “The fact that Shonda has been put in this position is extremely unfair.

“It’s unfortunate because it was probably, at the time, the most progressive show on television,” he says. “Now I see it [being] systematically torn apart.”

How can the show be fixed?

”Bring Burke back!” Washington says.

So he would return to the show, despite all the drama? “Absolutely!”

[From US Weekly]

Between Katherine Heigl withdrawing from the Emmy race and saying that Grey’s writers gave her bad material, the on-set feuds, and now Brooke Smith getting fired, it just sounds the show is not a comfortable place to work. It still has a huge viewership and is not going away any time soon. According to Nielsen and it’s the 9th most watched show on US television.

Brooke Smith is shown on 7/17/08. Isaiah Washington is shown on 10/13/08. Credit: PRPhotos

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7 Responses to “Isaiah Washington: it’s ‘disgusting’ Brooke Smith fired from Greys, hire me”

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  1. Jen (the other one) says:

    I’m so glad I don’t watch this show…it sounds like a total crapfest.

  2. elisha says:

    “You hate gay people, I hate gay people… lets get something going again!”

    Yuck! The show is already treading on thin ice by suddenly eliminating it’s gay storyline (although I would argue using the token hot lesbian storyline is exploitive in and of itself), the last thing they should do is rehire someone who treats gay people like that. What a terrible message that would send.

    Not to mention he’s sitting there saying “oh what they did was so bad and disgusting and unfair… and I SO want to be a part of it again!!!!”

    This guy makes my skin crawl and I ABSOLUTELY believe he used the slur on set.

  3. Gina says:

    I would love to see Isaiah come back to the show and interfere with “the thing” that I assume will go on between the new male doctor and Burke’s ex. That would be a great storyline!!!!

  4. elisha says:

    OMG, Gina! That gave me THE BEST idea!

    They should say “OK, we’ll take you back…. but you have to play a gay guy!! Your character comes out of the closet!!”

    That would bring back the gay storyline AND put him in a very interesting position of looking homophobic if he turns it down, or confronting his demons if he accepts it.

    Can I just reiterate that I think the lesbian storyline is totally shark-jumpy? Why don’t they use gay MEN? I think it’s totally because our society accepts hot lesbians more than gay guys. I find it totally exploitive and like a cheap ratings ploy, and Grey’s canning their storyline was a weak response to the whole Prop 8 debacle.

  5. adleisia says:

    As a Grey’s watcher… I miss Burke. I don’t miss Isaiah Washington’s attitude. And I personally loved the lesbian storyline… I thought Hahn was a GREAT character, especially last week when Denny came back to bite her and Izzie in the ass.

    That said.. Grey’s hasn’t been the same since season 2. It’s gotten better from last year, but it isn’t the same. And Grey’s has already jumped the shark..when they killed Meredith, had her hang out with pole girl, bomb squad guy, Denny, and then her mother, and then oh wait, she isn’t dead.

  6. Hollz says:

    While I didn’t mind Burke, I hated his relationship with Cristina, he was far to demanding and controlling.

    While I love Hahn, and don’t want her to leave the show, the way they ended her and Callie’s relationship really worked

  7. Obvious says:

    I miss Burke. Not Washingotn. I can divorce the two in my mind, Burke was a fantastic character. ANd I’m so mad they dis missed HAhn, especially after putting her in the position to reall wreak havoc on Izzy again. ABC really screwed up this time.